Best 15 Differences Between Woolen and Worsted Fabric of Wool

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Wool is a textile material made from woolen sheep’s fleece. Mainly wool fabrics are two types. they are woolen and worsted fabric. For centuries, wool has been used for clothing, accessories, and home textiles because of its warmth, versatility, and unique characteristics. Basically, wool fabrics can be divided into two types. One is woolen fabric and the other is worsted fabric. Both have exceptional insulating properties, moisture-wicking abilities, and inherent comfort. In spite of that, there are some slight differences between woolen and worsted fabrics.

What is Woolen Fabric?

Woolen fabrics are usually made from shorter wool fibers that are generally only carded and not gilling and combing. Soft, fuzzy, and thick, woolen fabrics are warmer than worsted fabrics, but are less durable. In addition to giving woolens a soft surface, napping also gives them a protection against the objectionable luster.

Figure 01: Woolen fabric

What is Worsted Fabric?

Worsted fabrics are usually made from long wool fibers that have been carded and combed. Worsted fabrics have a higher thread count than woolen fabrics because the finer yarn allows them to be woven closer. Worsted fabrics are firm, smooth or rough, and wiry or harsh. They are also more durable than woolen fabrics and dirt resistant.

Figure 02: Worsted fabric

Differences Between Woolen and Worsted Fabric of Wool:

S/N Woolen Fabric Worsted Fabric
01woolen fabric is made from carded short fibers of wool.Worsted fabric is made from long and fine wool fibers that are carded and combed.  
02Woolen fabric is weaving in indistinct pattern; usually plain weave, sometimes twill.Worsted fabric is weaving distinct pattern; chiefly twill weave, infrequently plain weave.
03Appearance of woolen fabric is soft, fuzzy and thick.Appearance of worsted fabric is firm, wiry or harsh, and smooth or rough.
04The thread count of woolen fabric is usually less than worsted fabric.The thread count of worsted fabric is higher than woolen fabric.
05Woolen fabric’s construction is not compact.Worsted fabric’s construction is closer.
06This type of fabric is warmer than worsted fabric.This type of fabric is less warm than woolen fabric.
07Durability of woolen fabric is less.Durability of worsted fabric is high.
08Due to more napping woolen fabric is less luster.Worsted fabric is more shiny.
09The drape of woolen fabrics is often more relaxed and flowing.The drape of worsted fabrics is crisper and more structured  
10The napping finish gives a soft surface to wool, which is easily adulterated.Due to its hard surface, Worsted cannot be easily adulterated.
11.Tensile strength of woolen fabric is less.Tensile strength of worsted fabric is more than woolen fabric.
12.Wrinkle is more than worsted fabric.Wrinkle less than woolen fabric.
13.Less resistant to dust.More resistant to dust.
14.Woolen fabric is less expensive than worsted fabric.Worsted fabric is expensive than woolen fabric.
15.Use: sports wear, jackets, sweaters, skirts, blankets.Use: spring and summer coats and suits, Gabardines, crepes.

It should be noted that the type of yarn used in fabric production, whether it is woolen or worsted, greatly influences the textile’s texture, appearance, warmth, durability, and suitability for various uses. A woolen yarn produces a softer, fuzzier fabric ideal for warmth and comfort, whereas a worsted yarn produces a smoother, more polished fabric ideal for tailored and formal wear.I did my best to explain the differences between woolen and worsted fabrics in an easy-to-understand manner. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me using the comments box below.

You may read:

Reference:

  • Cook, J. G. (2005). Handbook of Textile Fibers. Delhi: WoodHead Publishing Limited.
  • Corbman, B. P. (1987). Textile Fiber to Fabric. Singapore: McGraw Hill Book Co.
  • Dr. Hosne Ara Begum, P. D. (n.d.). Natural fibers. Dhaka: Hafiz book center.
  • Kaplan, N. (2006). Textile Fibres. New Delhi: Abhishek Publications.

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